| by KATE POCOCK|
Family Travel Ink
Manitoba's Top Ten Family Vacation Experiences
Churchill Expedition: Drive the seven hours from Winnipeg to Thompson, then take the 10-hour train ride, or fly two hours from Winnipeg to see the Polar Bear Capital of the World. Though the bears are gone, you'll see whales, birds and seals.
Winnipeg Museum Day: Start at the Manitoba Children's Museum near the Forks and move on to the awesome Museum of Man and Nature, Manitoba Planetarium and Touch the Universe Science Centre.
Oak Hammock Marsh, Stonewall just north of Winnipeg: stroll the boardwalk over the marshes, view the animals on display, and paddle a canoe through prime bird-watching territory.
Prairie Dog Central, Winnipeg: all aboard on a turn-of-the-century steam train for its Sunday excursions to Grosse Isle and back. Two hour round trip.
Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg: a major city park, co-designed by New York's Central Park designer, offering a sculpture garden, cycling paths, a miniature passenger train, the Assiniboine Zoo, a duck pond, and a statue of Winnie-the-Pooh (named after Winnipeg).
Narcisse Snake Den: the world's largest concentration of snakes-tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes-live in the limestone rock den about two hours north of Winnipeg. Family hikes and interpretive programs.
Shawenequanape Kipichewin Camp at Lake Katherine in Riding Mountain National Park (three hours from Winnipeg): learn about Ojibwe Culture and sleep in a tepee.
Riding Mountain National Park: at the interpretive centre in Wasagaming, kids sign up for Junior Naturalist's Keepers of the Wild program to sample aboriginal foods, take a hike or visit bears at night. A thriving bison herd lives near Lake Audy.
Horse-drawn wagon tour or hike through Spirit Sands park, the fragile desert of shifting sands
Lower Fort Garry just outside Winnipeg: interpretive programs for families all summer long